Winston Churchill: “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”
I wonder what he might have said about the government’s wish to have more police on the streets coupled with their determination to press ahead with sacking thousands of them.
I’m sure George Osborne can do the maths, he’s an excellent Chancellor of the Exchequer, but are David Cameron and Theresa May really that innumerate? Some things are counter-intuitive, like taxes. Cutting the top rate of income tax results in more tax being paid. Raising the top rate of income tax results in less tax being paid. This was the message Churchill was trying to get across: that trying to boost the economy by taking more out of it is self-defeating.
As is trying to boost the number of policemen by sacking them.
Is it possible that the party of hunting, shooting and fishing applies the same philosophy to all walks of life? Understanding the need to cull deer to ensure a thriving herd, or the need to hunt foxes for their own good, perhaps they see a need to cull some police for the good of the herd? Except of course the police aren’t a herd and aren’t breeding more police to the point where they’re in danger of overwhelming their natural environment. In reality they are highly trained and motivated people and indeed we do want enough of them to overwhelm crime and lawlessness.
Here’s a thought: Cut the amount of government there is running our lives and see how much better it gets.
I think the “Lost” finale* is a pretty good metaphor for where we are as a country right now. We’ve just woken from thirteen seasons under Labour to find out we died the day Tony Blair walked into Downing Street. Whether the Coalition Government can breathe life into our corpse of a country remains to be seen, but for the sake of all of us, I hope they do.
The early signs look good, and Cameron and Clegg are brushing off some witless criticism that they have each “sold out” their respective Parties. Cameron, we are told, should have struggled along as a minority government and then gone to the country for an early election and a full mandate. But that advice is coming from commentators who write strident columns without bearing any responsibility for what happens in the meantime, so I’m happy to give Cameron credit for actually trying to deal with the problems facing our country instead of grandstanding.
We need to deal with the fundamental problems of the country, they include, but are not limited to, a bloated bureaucracy with an obsession for targets and form-filling; a dysfunctional banking and business sector with a culture of personal enrichment at any cost to the consumer; and an inverted society where the rights of criminals, illegal immigrants and even terrorists trump the natural rights of the law-abiding citizen.
That doesn’t even touch on any special interests of mine, such as the appalling level of care we give to wounded soldiers and the shoddy equipment we provide them with in the first place, or the creeping European superstate that is taking us over without any democratic process of any kind.
But I remain hopeful that at last we seem to have a government that is addressing them all.
* The “Lost” finale reveals that all the castaways actually died when the plane crashed onto the island.